Columbia Library columns (v.23(1973Nov-1974May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.23,no.3(1974:May): Page 24  

Magazines for Young America:

The First Hundred Years of Juvenile Periodicals


<< A DISTINCTIVE feature of American journalism, and one
/ NX \\-hich has been carried further in this country than in
A )\ any other, is the periodical adapted to juvenile reading."
So read the monograph by S.N.D. North on the periodical press
in the United States which formed a part of the 1880 census re¬
port. And yet these juvenile magazines ate often disregarded and
ignored by serious collectors of children's literature. How many
of them realize the huge quantity of childhood favorites originally
serialized or printed for the first time in these journals? The fa¬
miliar nursery rhyme "Mary's Lamb," written by Sarah J. Hale,
made its debut in 1830 in Juvenile Miscellany, while stories by
Louisa iMay Alcott, Gelett Burgess, Frances Hodgson Burnett,
Palmer Cox, E. E. Hale, Oliver Optic, Howard Pyle, Frank R.
Stockton and Mark Twain gladdened countless children in maga¬
zines, months before they were issued in book form.

Following the colonial Revolution of 1776, the literary inter¬
change between Britain and the United States seemed to increase,
with more people wanting education in the various branches of
useful and polite knowledge. Publishers prepared "Americanized"
versions of well-known European texts besides printing several of
the more standard English courtesy manuals, but there was still a
need to disseminate popular culture inexpensively and this led to
the mass progress and development of American magazines.

Almost concurrent with this new wave of publishing mania,
there occurred an interest in producing books for the amusement
of children—far removed from the didactic preachings of James
Janeway, and less obviously instructive than school texts and pti-
mers. John Mein, Hugh Gaine and Isaiah Thomas all reprinted or

  v.23,no.3(1974:May): Page 24